Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

that this portentous delusion, which commenced amid the boastful prognostications of its authors, and the acclamations of the crowd, will ere long sink into merited disgrace, and silent contempt."

"* You perceive, Sir, desperate as the case is, Mr. W. indulges confident hope." But by whom are " the people to become better informed?" Doubtless by Mr. W. who purposes to inculcate “ a more rational creed,and introduce them to the enjoyment of a more “ rational religion.”+ His creed, however, is such, as will be seen in the course of these Remarks, as utterly to exclude, in the present diy, the inspiration of God;7 and his religion is of a character to allow him to plead for amusements of an immoral tendency, not only as perfectly innocent, but even of considerable utility. He argues against Methodism from its abuse : || and yet the same objection is to have no weight against the follics of life. Methodism has spread, and its advocales “ may yet indulge a confident hope," that it will continue to spread; not solely, as Mr. W. supposes, through the zeal of the preachers to propagate “THEIR

THEIR peculiar faith,

faith,** and the plan constructed by “the wary founder of this party;"+t but through their sincere endeavour to make genuine Christians, and the Spirit of God accompanying their exertions.

What seems to displease Mr. W. not a little is, the conduct of the Methodists in disclaiming the character of Dissenters.If As this subject has been entered into,g in a letter addressed to R. Southey, Esq. and Mr. W. is well acquainted with “ the later numbers of the Methodist Magazine down to the present time,"|| it will be the less necessary to enlarge now. The ground on which they merit the appellation of Dissenters, is the unwearied efforts they have manifested “in diminishing the attachment of the inferior classes to the Church, in whose bosom they were . nurtured.”S1 It is a fact, Sir, too notorious to be denied, that the major part of the Methodists, and especially the inferior classes,” have been gathered from the immoral part of mankind. If Mr. W. will come forward and institute a claim to these, as persons who have been "nurtured" in the "bosom" of the Church, few will dispute the honour to which such a claim is entitled. Strange however as it may seem, those very persons are represented by him elsewhere, antecedent to their union with the Methodist body, as weak, ignorant, foolish, and barbarous; as the subjects of strong passions, and indulging in excess.*** Now, if to nurture signifies to feed and to educate, and if those poor creatures were actually nurtured in barbarism, though in the very bosom of the Church, did it not, I ask, become a matter of ab+ Pages 19, 54.

Page 114. 5 Page 145–181. Il Page 184. | Pages.168, 174. :: ** Pages 111, 12, 122. + + Page 119. #1 Page 21. § Meibodist Magazine, April 1818, # Preface, p.1l. 15 Page 21. *** Page 18, 47, 187..

Page 127.

solute necessity, from their small, or rather non-improvement, to put them—say for the sake of experiment, upon a different course of diet, and send them to another school ? From Mr. W's own account they could scarcely be plunged into a state of Freater moral wretchedness. And yet he reprobates the Methodists for the adoption of certain measures to prevent them “ from returning to their former faith;"* and laments that no activity will bring them back to the “ long deserted religion of their ani cestors.”I Shall we, Sir, make an inquiry into their " former faith.29. Mr. W. informs us, that those very persons are “Men whose minds have from their birth romained totally destilute of cultiration, whose understandings have always been darkened by error, and whose habits have experienced no restraint beyond what is imposed by rigid necessity and the law of the land.”+ Suill they we:e nurtured in the bosom of the Church! With all their food, they remained in a state of “weakness;" with all their education, they were still the subjects of “ folly, barbarism, and error.” Had I not adverted to the title.page, and seen - OBSERVATIONS, &c. By the Rev. Latham Wainewright, A. M. F.A.S. of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and Rector of Great Brickhill, in the county of Bucks,” I should have been half inclined to lay these inconsistencies at the door of some person who had just been " mingling in scenes of social hilarity,scenes which he censvres the Methodists for discountenancing, and in which the spirits are sometimes more elated, than ihe views are correct. In Mr. W.'s case, it can only be attributed to a deep-rooted prejudice which has obscured his better judgment.

Defective as the Methodists were, prior to their assumption of the name, in intellectual improvement, they are now, if we are to attend to the declaration of Mr. W. dreadfully degenerated. Formerly they were only indifferent to learning, but now they are actually hostile to any thing of the kind. “The dis: coveries of modern philosophy, (says he) the refinements of ancient literature, and the pleasures resulting from the productions of the fine arts, are to them of scarcely more value than the sand upon the sea shore. In their judgment, the deductions of scientific research, and the beauties of literary composition, are nothing more than the results of time mis-spent, and of labour mis-applied. Devoid of taste themselves, and enemies to its cula tivation in others, they regard the glowing delineations of the painter, and the animated forms of sculpture, in no other light than as ministering to the pride of the wealthy, and as tending to perpetuate the remeinbrance of heathenish fables."I All that this charge merits, like many others, 'is a positive denial till suita * Page 12

I Page 192 + Page 18. | Page 188.

1: Page 189. E?

[ocr errors]

able etidence is adduced. Not to pass it entirely unnoticed, the Methodists, it will be confessed by Mr. W. himself, are poor in the bulk. Admitting them, therefore, to have the will, they want the ability. Employed in their various secular concerns, from morning to evening, for a subsistence, they want time, as well as ability, for literary and other pursuits. Mr. W.may converse and write with a considerable portion of dignity and self-complacency, respecting the arts and sciences, when he has several colleges reared to his hand, and claims kindred with a Church united to the state-a Church which can boast of the princes, nobility, and gentry of the land for its members. To apbraid the poor Methodists, on these subjects, is as cruel and ridiculous, as it would be for a nobleman tu censure one of the lowest of his menial attendants, for a want of the same taste and acquisitions with himself

. Abandoning, the general question, there are individuals belonging to the body, who are not without their titles, and who are connected with various literary institutions; while others, again, are encouraging, and making all the progress in the arts and sciences, time and circumstances will allow.

What other end the introduction of such a subject as this can answer, beside that of furnishing Mr. W, with an opportunity of relating what he has heard of the gallery of the Louvre, &c. cannot well be determined. The next time he writes, and asserts, that the Methodists" countenance no projects for the advancement of science, "* he will do well to recollect what he may have read respecting their contributions towards the support of KINGSWOOD and WOODHOUSE GROVE Schools. Till you hear from me again, more immediately on the subject of doctrine, believe me, Sir, to be Your's, affectionately, Hull.

James EverETT, (To be continued.)

Review of the Memoirs of the Life and Character of Mrs.

SARAH Savage, Daughter of the Rev. Philip HENRY, A. M. and an Appendix, by J. B. Williams, with a Preface, by the Rev. W. JAY."

Every thing relating to this extraordinary family is calculated to excite more than common interest in the minds of serious readers.

The subject of this Memoir, was the eldest daughter of the Rev. Philip Henry+ and sister to the Rev. Matthew Henry,

# P. 188. + We embrace this opportunity of informing our readers, that a new and improved edition of Memoirs of the Life of the Rev. Philip Henry, is just published, by Mr. Samuel Taylor, with a portrait, price 3s. 60. in boards.

We warmly recommend this work, to the particular attention and careful perusa! of every pious family, and of every Christian Minister, not doubting but they will be amply compensated for reading it. See Minutes of Methodist Conference, Svon Edition, Vot: I. page 51, 68. It may be had of Mr. Blanshard, City-Road.

the celebrated commentator on the Holy Scriptures. To say she was not unworthy of the relation she bore to these two burning luminaries of the moral world, is awarding her no mean praise.

Her education was superintended by her most excellent father, who omitted nothing that wisdom could suggest, or zeal and piety accomplish.

At an early age she was made acquainted with the power of true religion in her own heart. In 1687, she was married to Mr. Savage, of Wrenbury Wood, near Nantwich, who appears to have been a pious, active, useful man. They lived together forty-two years, when, by the death of Mr. Savage, she became a widow. In 1736, she removed to West Bromwich, near Bir, mingham, where, in 1752, she finished her course with joy, nearly eighty years of age.

In early life, Mrs. S. began to write a diary, in which, from time to time, she wrote the feelings of her heart towards God.

From this journal, the present volume is chiefly extracted. In an affixed advertisement, we are informed, she left, in her own band-writing, a diary of many volumes. From such an intimation, combined with a strong predilection in her favour, the reader is prepared to expect a copious selection of the most edifying matter. How far the editor, having such materials, has performed his duty, we shall now impartially examine.

We believe we shall be borne out by the suffrages of our intelligent readers, when we assert, that such a diary as Mrs. S. kept should have been published in chronological order. By applying this principle to the work before us, it appears defective io no common degree.

The reader, instead of travelling only once over the ground of dates by slow and easy stages, is made to pass it several times. At the end of a section, he is brought near the close of her earthly pilgrimage, and in the beginning of the next, is carried back to the point from whence he had before set out. By a repetition of this practice, great confusion is introduced.

The Editor's wish to characterize Mrs. S. by " dividing her character," as he terms it, in his advertisement, page 4, appears to have given birth to this error. His object, however, would have been accomplished, we think, much better, by publishing the diary in chronological order; he might then have drawn the character of bis subject in one connected form, from the different traits before exhibited.

The beginning of the second chapter, on page 15, is headed, " Her Character:” this is continued to page 24, when the word Character is completely dropped: there however follows, through six sections to page 131, copious extracts from ber diary, on her diligence, benevolence, moderation, zeal, public spirit, bumility, patience, resignation, piety, self-dedication, self-examination, me

7

ditation, love to prayer, love for the sabbath and Divine ordinances, review of mercies received, and spirituality of mind, From this arrangement, we might be led to infer that her character was not formed by these cardinal graces and virtues, but existed independently of them.

The word Character should have constituted the general head, and all the other particular parts might have been introduced under that general denomination.

We are aware the Editor will think himself justified in the mode he has adopted, in following the example of Mr. Orton in his Life of Dr. Doddridge, who appears to have formed his work on the model of the Life of the Rev. Philip Henry. We need only observe, that the cases are so widely dissimilar, as not to admit of the two former examples being made precedents for the latter.

We make these remarks for the purpose of inducing the Editor, should another edition be called for, 'to revise his plan, and make those improvements of which we conceive his valuable materials are susceptible.

The appendix, containing An Account of Mrs. Philip Henry - A Wedding Sermon, by Matthew Henry-An Account of his Death, by Mrs. Savage-Memoirs of the Rev. James Owenand Memoirs of the Rev. Philip Henry's daughter, Eleanor, (Mrs. Radford) will be regarded as forming a valuable addition, and will be perused with much interest by serious readers.

On the whole, we hesitate not to pronounce the matter of the work in general truly excellent. It will afford real edification to the sincere lovers of the Lord Jesus Christ; to their patronage we therefore earnestly recommend it.

THE WORD OF GOD ILLUSTRATED.

To the Editor of the Methodist Magazine. SIR,

About the year 1746, Mr. Wesley received a letter from a gentleman, some of whose words are these :-" The understanding of the true meaning and intent of the Scriptures is, understanding the mind of God in every place. A man may say abundance of serious things, which are not contained in the text from which he discourses. He may preach for a number of years. to a congregation, and never explain the direct meaning of the Holy Spirit in one Scripture: mean while he is not increasing their knowledge in the word of God.”

I am very much inclined to coincide with this gentleman in this point: and I have often observed, that some persons, in

« НазадПродовжити »